Grants Update: DEI and Kellogg Foundation
WSM is pleased to report progress on two prestigious grants it received last fall.
A U.S. Department of Labor Disability Employment Initiative grant is designed to help better serve and create employment opportunities for people with disabilities who live in Montgomery County. Since that time, WSM has had experts evaluate its Job Centers with an eye toward how to make the centers more accommodating to people with disabilities.
“For example, to cater to individuals with visual impairments, we are looking to purchase tablets and iPads with software that both translates speech as well as enlarges text,” said WorkSource Montgomery Vice President of Industry Engagement and Job Services Heather Henry. “We’ve also strengthened our relationships with community partners to look at ways we can better serve individuals with cognitive disabilities to help them gain meaningful employment.”
WSM was also a recipient of a national grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to address and help break the cycle of family poverty. The grant is unique in that it takes a “two-generation” or “whole family” approach to addressing poverty, meaning it focuses equally on services and opportunities for parent and child.
Progress on that front has included launching focus groups to glean more insight into how WSM can better serve young parents and their families.
WSM has also identified 10-15 youth to launch a pilot program in the late spring comprised of young “disconnected” parents — those ages 16-24 who are not enrolled in school or working — with the goal of making a positive impact on these individuals early in their career. Research has shown that improving a parent’s career path improves their child’s future.
“We are also working with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services on the first ever professional development between early childhood development and workforce development and looking at how we can work together more effectively,” said Henry.
WSM will be presenting our innovative program at the National Association of Workforce Boards National conference March 25, 2017.
For more information about these and other WSM grants, contact Heather Henry at email@example.com, or 240-558- 9017.